Nothing beats the convenience of a home-on-wheels, but like any home, your RV has a tendency to develop problems over time. One of the major ones you’ll face as a long-term RV owner is the flooring. Plumbing issues, leaks, and other sources of moisture can cause your floors to rot and weaken. You won’t have any trouble diagnosing this issue: when your wood floor starts feeling soft, that means it’s time to get it replaced.
We always recommend taking big projects like this into the professionals at Athens RV, but for any DIYer who has time for a big project, this guide will give you all the information you need for effectively replacing your trailer’s flooring. If you’d like more information or want to schedule a service appointment, our dealership is in Athens near Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Longview, Tyler, Fort Worth, Houston, and Dallas, Texas.
Inspect the Damage
Before actually getting to work and tearing up boards, you’re going to need to figure out how much of your floor is really damaged. Since most floors are covered by linoleum, remove this surface material to properly assess the damage. You can’t just feel over the linoleum, because you’ll need to feel the flooring itself to determine where rot starts and stops. Hopefully the weak area is very small, because otherwise you might have to replace your entire floor. First then, peel off the linoleum or whatever other surface material is there. Then take a knife, flat head screwdriver, or anything else with a sharp tip to press into the floor. There shouldn’t be any give to it, so if it feels soft at all, that stuff’s rotten and it’s got to go. Once you identify the entire area that’s rotten, cut it out and throw those flimsy boards away.
Drying and Treating
Now that you’ve cut out part or all of your floor, the frame’s going to be exposed. The frame most likely also has some rot on it too if the floor was bad enough, but frames are much sturdier, so you most likely won’t have to replace them. Instead, just let your RV sit for a week or two to dry (this kind of repair is better to do during summer). After waiting, it should be pretty well dried out, but mold can still develop after wood has dried. To combat this, apply a treatment solution to the frame, and let that set for a week or so as well.
Sealing and Reinforcing
After going through all this work, you’re probably hoping you’ll never have to replace the flooring again. We don’t blame you, so we recommend protecting against future rot with a diluted epoxy resin. Use this mixture on the exposed frame, which will waterproof it and make it more sturdy. When mixing and applying the epoxy resins, though, make sure to be careful. The fumes are harmful, so it’s not a bad idea to wear a dust mask, as well as gloves, long sleeves, and proper shoes.
Replace the Floor
If you had to remove insulation when reinforcing your frame, be sure to replace it before installing new flooring. To start replacing the floor, start by cutting a piece of plywood and placing it over the gap where you cut out the floor. Then get your vinyl flooring pieces out, measure them, and treat them with a coat of epoxy resin as well. This should cut off the potential for further mold to develop, so now you’re ready to install the floor!
If you’re really intent on doing it yourself, you can replace your RV’s floor with a few weeks of hard work. This guide explains how to do so and how to safeguard against future mold, but if you just don’t have the time, Athens RV is here to help you out. Our service department in Athens can do any maintenance you need, so come see us if you’re coming from Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Longview, Tyler, Fort Worth, Houston, or Dallas, Texas.